Malaysia Minister Mentor’s Advice
Malaysia has caused irreconcilable conflicts, says Dr M

UPDATED @ 06:30:58 PM 13-10-2010
October 13, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that Malays must continue to be given handicaps, while arguing that Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia was a confusing concept which means different things to different people.

He also accused the Chinese and Indian communities of continuing to identify with their countries of origin, and argued that Malays would continue demanding special treatment as a result.

Writing in his blog today, Mahathir (picture) said the Malays interpreted 1 Malaysia to mean the abolition of Chinese and Tamil schools and a “fair” participation of Malays and Bumiputeras in the private sector.

The Chinese and Indians, he claimed, interpret 1 Malaysia to mean an end to special treatment for Malays, the removal of quotas and the end to NEP-style affirmative action policies favouring Malays.

“Without the government spelling out the precise meaning of 1 Malaysia, different people are giving their own interpretations which not only differ from each other but are in conflict with each other.

“These two interpretations of 1 Malaysia admittedly are by the more extreme groups. The more moderate ones from both sides are milder in their expectations but their minimum interpretations still provide irreconcilable conflicts. 1 Malaysia clearly means different things to the different races.”

Dr Mahathir also argued that the Bangsa Malaysia concept encapsulated in his Vision 2020 document was more appropriate for multiracial Malaysia.

“In Vision 2020 one of the objectives is to create a bangsa Malaysia.
“The belief at that time was that if Malaysia becomes a fully developed country, it would become very prosperous,” he said.

He repeated his old formula for managing race relations by making the economic argument that if prosperity was fairly shared between the races there would be less jealousy between them.

“Malaysians of all races would be so proud of their country and its great achievements that the desire to be linked with other countries would be much diminished if not disappear altogether (as happens in prosperous multi-racial countries like the US – where the German Eisenhower led the war against Germany. Eisenhower was American first and his country of origin was irrelevant to him).”

But he said it was clear that race still played an important role currently in Malaysia.
The former prime minister also accused the Chinese and Indian communities of preferring to be identified with their countries of origin, and this, he said, caused Malays to expect special treatment.

He said a change in the so-called social contract between the Malays and the non-Malays would take a long time to replace.

“This will take a long time. As the new contract will be between races, racial factors would be included. Unless both sides agree to give up their races’ own rights as spelt out in the first contract i.e. the preservation of own home languages and schools etc. the rights of the indigenous races to their special position, etc, must remain a part of the new social contract.
“It is not certain that each would not demand for more than what they got under the old contract. It is likely there would be no agreement and no contract. This would lead to perpetual conflicts.

Dr Mahathir also took aim at Malays who wanted affirmative action to be abolished, and repeated his stand that Malays were not ready yet to compete on an equal footing with the Chinese in particular.

“I am not ashamed to admit that I cannot compete with the Chinese and Indian students when studying medicine. They had much better results than me and the other six Malay students for entry into the Medical College. Even at that time the British promised to the Rulers to help educate the Malays. I had my chance because of the affirmative action then. On pure merit I would not be a doctor today, not because I was not qualified, but my qualification was lower than others.

“One has to remember that the Chinese civilisation is more than 4000 years old. No other civilisation has lasted that long. Naturally they have developed a culture better able to survive under all conditions. It is my belief that if the percentage of Chinese in the United Kingdom for example is the same as in Malaysia, UK would be better developed than it is now. It is not surprising that the Chinese excel in developing Malaysia (for which they are amply rewarded).”

He said that it was not shameful to lose out against the Chinese but to just catch up would require handicaps.
“To be given handicaps is to ensure fairness, not discrimination. That is why in golf you have handicaps. That is why in all contests there must be equality between the contestants. It is selfish if having benefited from the handicaps you want to deny others from having them.”